I believe in always wearing the seatbelt.
Less than four months after getting my baby, (a beautiful black Ford Escape with leather seats and a cute little propeller on the back) I felt my door push my leg, my head hurt, and I was in a different lane than I was a second before. Scared out of my mind, I pulled over, and cried until the fireman opened my passenger door and asked if I was okay, he was eyeing my white knuckles still plastered to the steering wheel. I was okay, but the other guy had to go to the hospital because he didn’t have the chest strap on. In the end, the other guy only came out with a few stitches, and he was okay too, my baby wasn’t, but that’s beside the point. That was my only car accident, but it wasn’t the only time the seatbelt has helped me out.
I click on the seatbelt everyday, to face the teacher to say I did not do the homework, to take the criticism from the judge at the performance, to say its okay that you don’t like me that way. I put my seatbelt on carefully, sliding it over every thought, every possible outcome that can hurt me, so I prepare for it before it happens- like taking pain medicine before breaking a leg.
I have tried to take hits without caution; I have fallen into a rut of a constant mistake like studying only the night before a test. I would not prepare myself for life’s ugly side, things really seemed like they were there for the sole purpose of making my life a living hell. But, I have learned from that, my seatbelt makes me take the feeling that the world is against me and turn it around to live like I can overcome the world if I can guess, and prepare for what it is going to throw at me next. I believe in my seatbelt, in my safety net, in my rainy day fund, whatever you want to call it. My seatbelt is the difference between getting hit in the gut, and blocking the punch.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.